Tag Archives: Tuttle

Tuttle’s all aglow

Debbie Davies has designed these fab skirts which she was showing off at Tuttle today. 

Debbie’s a kindred spirit because she shared a previous life in television, just like me. Unlike me, turns out she’s also a dab hand with the sewing machine.

This skirt is a great example of the varied stuff that regular Tuttlers get up to. And I guess there’s something interactive about it: nothing’s more social than turning up at a party wearing your own conversation piece 🙂

The skirts are still “in beta” but will be available soon. Contact Debbie via Twitter if you’d like to pre-order. 

London gets more social

A sneak preview of TFL‘s new cycle fleet!

We walked past this flashy new docking station on St.Chad’s Place, WC1, this morning, on the way to Tuttle. As we were checking out the computerised bollards, a group of guys from TFL turned up, “test-riding” some of the bikes.

The public bicycle sharing scheme goes live on 30 July.

How lovely.

Who can argue with anything that has “sharing” in the title?

10 questions

1. How relevant is Metcalfe’s Law to social networks?

2. If we apply modern neoevolutionary principles rather than C19th, deterministic ones, accidents and free will have an important part to play in social evolution. Does social media enable these and, if so, does social media therefore enable social evolution?

3. How instrumental is social media in creating less hierarchical organisations?

4. How are social tools changing our behaviour, if at all?

5. What is the long-term impact of the type of self-organisation identified by Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody? (We can blog on WordPress, customize our Myspace page, set up a community on Ning…)

6. Are we seeing a new type of hero emerge and, if so, what does that signify? Craig Newmark, Lauren Luke, Barack Obama and (our local hero in London) Lloyd Davis – all these people built businesses/ careers by building a community first.

7. As various factors (environmental, social, political) push for an end to the consumer age, does social media have a role to play in bringing other values to the fore (or does it simply accentuate consumerist values?!

8. How realistic is Jamais Cascio’s idea of the participatory panopticon – can we attempt to control surveillance through sousveillance? Does the Twitter/ Carter Ruck/ Trafigura episode prove we’ve turned a page, or simply that the censors will pay more attention to Twitter next time round?

9. What do we think of the UK Conservative Party’s attempts to embrace the social web? David Cameron has talked about storing NHS records on Google, his advisor Steve Hilton (partner of Google’s Rachel Whetstone) has coined the phrase post-bureaucratic age, former New Labour new media advisors like MySociety’s Tom Steinberg have swapped sides…?

10. We could argue that the many-to-many structure of social networks enables a ‘long tail’ of human opinion to be heard. But can any diverse, ‘bottom-upness’ be sustained, or will it be back to ‘business as usual’ once the Web 2.0 dust has settled? Can the durable Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) ever truly be inversed?


Tweetup lowdown

It was great to see a fab bunch of people turn out for the Monkeys Tweetup last Friday as part of London Social Media Week. The Drunken Monkey did us proud with decent Dim Sum and beer. And the weather was unseasonably gorgeous, enabling a hearty group of us to brave the 40 minute walk from Tuttle Club in Kings Cross to deepest darkest Shoreditch, with only a handful getting *lost* on the way.

The idea behind the Tweetup was to have an informal discussion around one of the themes of Monkeys with Typewriters: the ‘anthropology’ of social media – its impact on people, society and culture.

In true swot style, I’d prepared ten open-ended questions or pointers for debate the night before. But the acoustics were dire and at first there were far too many people – around 25 or so – to have a single, structured, conversation.

So I started off posting the questions on Twitter so that people could chat in small groups. Hmmm. That was sort of successful. Then – luckily – the free bar ran out. Random people politely made their excuses and left. The dedicated hardcore remained!

I’d love to post the lively, convoluted discussion that commenced. Unfortunately my note-taking was non-existent and it being a Friday afternoon, the weekend and toddler have intervened and it’s only now (Weds) that I’m trying to recall exactly what happened.

A few points stuck in my mind: Nic Butler made a lovely one all about (cultural) memes – social networks accelerate communication and therefore social development/ evolution. Re changing values, Alison Wheeler said it used to be the haves and the have nots, now we’re seeing people relate in terms of the dos and the do nots. Love that!

Keri Hudson said she felt people around her age (20) are much more into sharing everything than previous generations (partly as a result of social tools). There was one Angry Young Man who made some great acerbic observations but left (Angrily) before I got his name.

My fave humourous exchange was between FJ van Wingerde and Patrick Hadfield:

FJ: All these CCTV cameras have ruined public sex!

Patrick: But surely they’ve enhanced public sex?

He he.

Great big thanks to everyone who came along. And a special thanks to those above, plus Anke HolstDocumentally, Ben Walker, James Governor, Bill Reyn and the others whose names I didn’t get, for staying long after the free beer had gone. And last but not least Kat McMann for brightening my day after a long time no see!

A walk on the wild side

It’s tough getting decent work done on a Friday, so what better way to spend the last day of Social Media Week hanging out with interesting people: collaborating, networking, drinking, eating, philosophizing or whatever else takes your fancy?

Tuttle Club will be taking place from 10am – midday at The Centre for Creative Collaboration near Kings Cross. If you’ve never been, you really should: this week will be a good ‘un. Lloyd Davis, Tuttle’s lovely founder, is now working as Social Artist in Residence at the CCC, and I’m sure he’ll be talking a bit about that new role, as well as doing his usual – meeting and greeting the Tuttle newbies and generally ensuring everyone who attends has a good time and at least one cup of decent coffee.

Whether you fancy a bite of lunch after Tuttle or whether you’ve worked hard all morning and reckon it’s time for a break,  on Friday afternoon, from 1pm – 4 (ish), there’ll be a Monkeys Tweetup at The Drunken Monkey in Shoreditch. With free beer for the early birds. And delicious Dim Sum for everyone who wants it.  The aim is to chat about the anthropology of social media: I see this as a kind of holistic look at the long-term social and cultural impact of social media (if any!), but please bring your own ideas and input.

Linking the two events, a 40 minute walk through the wondrous zone that is (or was?) Silicon Roundabout. [Update: just saw this Wired article indicating that Silicon Roundabout is very much alive and kicking] Why tube it when you can take your time and marvel at the myriad offices of so many tech start-ups? Last FM, Poke, IDEO, Moo, Trampoline, Dopplr and many more have all made their homes between Goswell Road and Brick Lane. Maybe some of these brilliant people will even join us for a drink 🙂




The unbearable lite-ness of being

Loved this feature on the post-bureaucratic age which Alberto Nardelli pointed out via Twitter. Apparently Stephan Shakespeare, co-founder of YouGov, recently gave a talk on the theory of ‘post bureaucracy’ that has been developed by Conservative party strategist Steve Hilton.

The facts that the Internet enables us all to have access to information that used to be privileged, that we are seeing a democratisation of influence (bloggers and Twitter, for example), forcing increased transparency and accountability in business, combined with a grudging acceptance that centralisation and globalisation no longer hold the answers…all these things mean that the world of work is going to change.

This was something I realised while writing Monkeys with Typewriters, and I can still see it clearly now in pockets of discussion and activity happening all over the place. Life really doesn’t have to be as complicated as we have made it.

Nearly two years back, David Wilcox and I sat down at One Alfred Place to discuss what David was then calling Organisation Lite.Soon after, I interviewed Lloyd Davis, whose Tuttle Club was inspired by Harry Tuttle, the engineer in the film Brazil who wages war against the over-bureaucratic machine. Tessy Britton, new Chair of the RSA Fellowship Council, has set up a project called Social Spaces – looking to find a flexible rather than prescriptive approach to social change. There’s also the ground-breaking work of the people at consultancy ThinkPublic who had the revolutionary idea of improving public services by simply, erm, asking users what they want.

I’m looking forward to giving a seminar next Wednesday at One Alfred Place for SOL-UK – the Society for Organisational Learning. The session kicks off at 6.45pm with a short talk about the conclusions of Monkeys with Typewriters and some background to the key behaviours and trends that emerged from the 50+ interviews I carried out for the book.

Afterwards, there’ll be a discussion about how – and if – social tools have the power to change our business world for the better – and we’ll try to come up with some positive calls to action: what can we do now to help ensure that change actually starts to happen?

I hope the discussion will join some of the dots in the quest to improve the way we work and live. If you’d like to join in, please let me know. I’ve a handful of tickets available at the SOL-UK members rate of £10. Just add a comment below or drop me a line via iKnowHow or Twitter.

Photo credit: Frank Peters

What’s with the monkeys?


Lovely social reporter David Wilcox, did a video interview with me last week at Tuttle Club. It’s a five minute summary of what Monkeys with Typewriters is all about. Thanks David for the blog post and for taking the time to interrogate me – look forward to turning the cameras on you one of these days!